The body of evidence documenting the effectiveness of cooperative learning is already impressive. The large and regularly cited meta-analysis of Johnson and Johnson published in 1987 reviews 378 studies that explore the use of cooperative learning groups in a wide range of settings. More than half of the studies reviewed favored cooperation in groups compared with only 10 percent favoring individual effort.
Teamwork is an important skill for students in every major. But despite its importance, most students do not know how to work together as a team. Their individual objectives take precedence over group goals. They can tell you what they are expected to produce. They may be able to tell you what type of group they were intended to be, whether task, educational, or support. They may even be able to tell you the components needed for groups to be successful—such as communication, a strong leader, and a common purpose. But they cannot tell you how the group will operate as a unit or the roles and responsibilities of individual members necessary to deliver quality products.
Mixing research findings, personal experience, and practical tips, Milton Cox explains how community in the classroom supports student learning and shares proven practices for increasing a sense of community in your course.
It’s not always easy to differentiate between critical pedagogy, active learning, and the learner- or learning-centered approaches. Each is predicated on the notion of student engagement and proposes involvement via such strategies as collaborative and cooperative learning and problem-based learning. All recommend a move away from lecturing. Critical pedagogy is the most extreme of the
From understanding course content to developing problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills, group work is an effective teaching strategy whose lessons may endure well beyond the end of a course. So why is it that so many students (and some faculty) hate it?